#16 - Using THE LAW OF COMEDY even in a DRAMA! - February 23, 2017

So you probably all know THE LAW OF COMEDY, but for those of you who don't, here it is in a nutshell:


1. Make a good joke.
2. Make the same good joke again.
3. Make the same good joke again, but this time, have a twist to it, or flip it around somehow.

That is the Law of Comedy, and surprisingly it works. Almost every time if executed properly.

But did you know you can also apply this law to DRAMA or any type of play, and that it is a miraculous way to tie things together at the end of your play?  

Here's a good example:

In my therapy play, THE EYES OF LOVE, (which is about extreme disfunction in therapy, relationships and more,) I used a JOKE metaphor to link up and comment on what was happening to the main character.  Early on in the play, the crazy client Annalisa, (who was played by my partner in crime here at Manhattan Rep, Jennifer Pierro,) is running around crying, screaming, and basically going nuts in therapy. Trying to calm her down, the therapist Mark Ryan, asks her if she would like to hear a joke.
Annalisa replies" OK." 
So he delivers his joke:
"How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb?
"I don't know. How many?"
Mark replies, "One, but the lightbulb has to want to change."

Yes, it is an old tired joke, but it gets repeated again when Mark is with his therapist trying to sort through all. And at the very end of the play, after a wild group therapy session where Mark and his therapist really step over the line in terms of what is ethically correct, Mark turns to his therapist and says:

"How many therapist's does it take to change a light bulb?
"I don't know. How many?" she replies.
 "One,.... but the therapist has to want to change."

Bing. Bing. Bing. In some weird and wonderful way, it completed things and commented on all.  

I do this all the time in my writing. I take an early element, or phrase from the play, and I link it up again a bit later and then I do it again at or near the end with a little twist.  IT JUST WORKS.  It somehow completes things in an awesome, fun and sometimes, miraculous way.

So explore the LAW OF COMEDY even in your DRAMAS, and see what happens!

Ken WolfComment